Power Cues: The Subtle Science of Leading Groups, Persuading Others, and Maximizing Your Personal Impact

power_cues
Power Cues: The Subtle Science of Leading Groups, Persuading Others, and Maximizing Your Personal Impact

Nick Morgan

ISBN 978-1422193501
Format Hardcover
Publisher Harvard Business Review Press
Published 2014-05-13

Take control of your communications — before someone else does

What if someone told you that your behavior was controlled by a powerful, invisible force? Most of us would be skeptical of such a claim—but it’s largely true. Our brains are constantly transmitting and receiving signals of which we are unaware. Studies show that these constant inputs drive the great majority of our decisions about what to do next—and we become conscious of the decisions only after we start acting on them. Many may find that disturbing. But the implications for leadership are profound.

In this provocative yet practical book, renowned speaking coach and communication expert Nick Morgan highlights recent research that shows how humans are programmed to respond to the nonverbal cues of others—subtle gestures, sounds, and signals—that elicit emotion. He then provides a clear, useful framework of seven “power cues” that will be essential for any leader in business, the public sector, or almost any context. You’ll learn crucial skills, from measuring nonverbal signs of confidence, to the art and practice of gestures and vocal tones, to figuring out what your gut is really telling you.

This concise and engaging guide will help leaders and aspiring leaders of all stripes to connect powerfully, communicate more effectively, and command influence.

nick_morganAbout the Author: Nick Morgan, founder of Public Words Inc., is one of America’s top communication and speech coaches. He is a former Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he was affiliated with the school’s Center for Public Leadership. From 1998 to 2003, he served as editor of the Harvard Management Communication Letter. He is the author of the acclaimed book, Working the Room, reprinted in paperback as Give Your Speech, Change the World.

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[Quick public speaking tip] Movement on the public speaking stage

Pivotal Public Speaking - stage

 

How you stand and walk has to be congruent with your message

and your image.

If you are a passionate speaker who simply cannot stand still, then hopefully you will use that to support the passion of your message. Try to use standing still to give the same sort of impact that a pause in the middle of rapid speech would give.

If you choose to move or change position just to provide relief because you think your speech is boring; be careful. It may be that your movement will have more impact than your message.

Timing can help so that you change position

with a new idea or

with a new visual support,

or with a change in your story or its dialogue.

Where you are

and how you move between spaces

are as much a part of your presentation as your message and your body language.

Orchestrate them as you will the whole presentation to form one complete impact.

And no, that does not mean being anything other than your authentic self. It means being your authentic self at its speaking best.

11 Deadly Presentation Sins: A Path to Redemption for Public Speakers, PowerPoint Users and Anyone Who Has to Get Up and Talk in Front of an Audience

11_deadly_presentation

“We’ve all committed the 11 deadly presentation sins on the way up in our careers. This insightful book will help make sure that your way up doesn’t become the way down!”
– Dr. Nick Morgan, author of Give Your Speech, Change the World

11 Deadly Presentation Sins is the perfect book for public speakers, business presenters, PowerPoint users and anyone who has to get up and talk in front of an audience. 

Few skills are more important in business or in life than the ability to present your ideas in clear and compelling terms. A solid presentation can help you:

* Close a sale with a customer
* Earn a raise
* Get a job
* Boost your reputation in the marketplace
* And much more … 

Escape From PowerPoint Hell …

More Than 100 Practical Tips …

Did We Mention Fun? 

My review

Want to avoid killing your audiences with boredom? Are you killing your career, your business, your chances of winning that pitch with murderous presentations? Sin no more. Resurrect your speaking success with Rob Biesenbach’s new book.

Rob brings skills as an actor, a speaker and a PR pro to this book; and not just skills but the entertaining, engaging communication style that made him a success there.

If you want to build your own success as a speaker, use this book. I don’t like books that tell you what NOT to do, and I feared that “deadly presentation sins” might do just that. I was mistaken, and happily so. The book is incredibly positive and encouraging. Rob provides the theory and the fundamentals of presentation success from energy to engagement, from storytelling to structure, from focus to visuals and much, much more.

I enjoyed his conversational style, his humour and his turn of phrase. Especially I enjoyed his humility. These all add up to an encouraging, easy read. He uses examples from other experts. He also uses copious examples from his own experience, so I felt that this was guidance from an expert. More importantly, though, these examples give Rob’s readers a multitude of practical ways to implement the strategies he has listed. This is what takes the book beyond being just another basic read about presentation skills.

Implement the guidance here and yes you will stand out – confident, comfortable and more engaging.
This is indeed the path to redemption!

You can get all the details (and where to buy the book) here on my website … http://bit.ly/1c6rP0Y

[Public speaking tip] Gestures on a level

gesture

Are you a natural gesturer, or do you have to force yourself to gesture?

Or perhaps there is a third question I could ask, and that is … have your modified your gestures to be more appropriate to your speaking?

I basically think that the more natural a speaker, the better.

And gestures are not absolutely necessary to communicate.

Sometimes I am annoyed at a television presenter or video presenter who makes the same gesture over and over, or who makes gestures at a level that seems inappropriate to the frame in which he is presenting. But then, I also think that those who evaluate or coach speakers can become too focussed on minor details that most people simply don’t notice, unless they are judging a speech contest. If gestures are inappropriate it is usually a reflection of a deeper level of communication.

Nevertheless I have always been intrigued by something I read years and years ago, that basically

Gestures above shoulder level support messages about things that are spiritual or uplifting (a church minister will raise his hands in blessing).

Ordinary messages are supported by gestures at the middle level of your body.

Things that are despicable or degrading or debilitating are supported by gestures below the waist.

Do you agree?

And would you coach a speaker to create gestures based on this information?

[Image from Stallonezone]

Quick public speaking tip – This week’s tip … gestures

Basically, when it comes to gestures, you can probably forget them. If you don’t care about your subject, if you don’t connect with your audience, if you don’t have a clear message, then gestures won’t matter one iota. They can’t save a bad speech or a bad speaker. Harsh, isn’t it? But true in the majority of cases.

And on the other hand (pardon the intentional pun)oftentimes, if you get those three things right, (enthusiasm, connection and message) the gestures will flow naturally and again, you can forget about them.

But … and there’s that pivotal word … but …

there are occasions when – and there are people who

have a distracting gesture.

They click or twiddle a pen, play with their hair or their clothes, hold a microphone with fingers unconsciously making a rude gesture, take glasses on and off, put hands in pockets and take them out.

All of these things are not necessarily detrimental in themselves, if the audience is absolutely focused on the speaker and the message. But if there is any reason for the audience’s attention to stray (and we all have short attention spans) then they will become fascinated, at best, and possibly annoyed, at whatever it is that the speaker is doing with their hands.

So you either get a coach to point it out, or you join a public speaking group who will point it out for you.

Or … and there’s another pivotal word, but a much more encouraging one this time

or … you learn to be aware of your gestures.

It’s a skill that can really only be learned and refined by practice.

You need to have the back of your brain sending out little spy satellites on regular intervals as you speak. One will be checking the energy of the audience, their attention. And another will be watching you, as you speak – your face, your body, you hands and your eyes. It will particularly be watching for repetitive gestures, odd gestures, incongruent gestures and gestures that are taking away from your enthusiasm, your audience connection and your message.

It’s a skill worth building through feedback and through practice, because gestures can make or break a great presentation.

Quick public speaking tip … congruent body language

If your body is declaring that you are not sincere in what you are saying then your credibility decreases and there is no way your message will have the impact it should have. So everything that implies relaxed, enthusiastic confidence and sincerity is vital now.

Think about the tone of your message. Is it relaxed, conversational? Then make your body language relaxed. Is it passionate, strong and powerful, then create body language that conveys that power. Is it alert and enthusiastic, then your body language will be upright and reflecting that enthusiasm.

Quick public speaking tip – Congruence in body language

If your body is declaring that you are not sincere in what you are saying then your credibility decreases and there is no way your message will have the impact it should have. So everything that implies relaxed, enthusiastic confidence and sincerity is vital now.

Think about the tone of your message. Is it relaxed, conversational? Then make your body language relaxed. Is it passionate, strong and powerful, then create body language that conveys that power. Is it alert and enthusiastic, then your body language will be upright and reflecting that enthusiasm.

Quick public speaking tip – Grounding

Stand with your weight on the balls of your feet, not on your heels.

The grounded balance will give you a firm base for confidence and from which to develop the most effective body language and gestures.

Use Body Language to add hidden power to the Message of Your Presentation

In any speech or presentation, your body language adds power to the message. It supports what your words are saying. The operative word here is, of course, “support”. Body language must be in tune with the message. And the corollary is that body language must also not distract or detract from the message. If they are denying each other, then your presentation will fail.

Confidence and sincerity are the absolute basis for this process. If your body is declaring that you are not sincere in what you are saying then your credibility decreases and there is no way your message will have the impact it should have. Think about the tone of your message. Is it relaxed, conversational? Then make your body language relaxed. Is it passionate, strong and powerful, then create body language that conveys that power. Is it alert and enthusiastic, then your body language will be upright and reflecting that enthusiasm.

You also need to be aware that your gestures can support or detract from your message. Learn to become aware of what your hands are doing while you speak. If necessary, make yourself hold them still. Many people have habits that are terribly distracting and yet they aren’t aware of what they are doing. They click or twiddle a pen, play with their hair or their clothes, hold a microphone with fingers unconsciously making a rude gesture, take glasses on and off, put hands in pockets and take them out. All of these things are not necessarily detrimental in themselves, if the audience is absolutely focused on the speaker and the message. But if there is any reason for the audience’s attention to stray (and we all have short attention spans) then they will become fascinated, at best, and possibly annoyed at whatever it is that the speaker is doing with their hands.

If, on the other hand, (my pun!!), those hands are working to support the speech, they will bring the attention back to the message. They will also give power to the impact of the message.

Natural gestures are basically the aim. If you are not a natural gesturer, your body will support your message. It is necessary to be aware that you are not repeating the same gesture many times. It may add emphasis the first time, but after that it will distract as much as the others mentioned earlier. Watch television journalists and sooner or later you will notice this.

You can also practice gestures. Join a public speaking club (and I recommend POWERtalk), where you can practise in a supportive environment until you are comfortable, and confident that your gestures are not detracting from your message.

Of course, there are many books and websites with information about body language and gestures. Basically:
Gestures above shoulder level support messages about things that are spiritual or uplifting (a church minister will raise his hands in blessing).

Ordinary messages are supported by gestures at the middle level of your body.

Things that are despicable or degrading or debilitating are supported by gestures below the waist.
You can use your palms. Held out, palm upwards, they support supplication, requesting a response, or openness. They can be used to indicate division if held vertically with the little finger down. Using a fist is a very powerful gesture. It indicates strong power and passion, and may also be used as a threat. Be careful with that. Take care, too, with pointing with a finger. People don’t respond well to accusation or to being singled out, so be sure your gesture supports your message.

Your clothes, too, can distract attention from your message. If you have a very bright or unusual item of clothing, if your scarf or tie flaps in a breeze, if your earrings dangle or click, or your necklace or tie pin clicks on a microphone, the audience will be distracted from your message. Again, unless your message is absolutely riveting, your clothes will become the centre of attention just as gestures can, and your message will lose its impact.

How you stand and walk works in just the same way. If you are a passionate speaker who simply cannot stand still, then hopefully you will support the passion of your message. Try to use standing still to give the same sort of impact that a pause in the middle of rapid speech would give. If you choose to move or change position just to provide relief because you think your speech is boring; be careful. It may be that your movement will have more impact than your massage. Timing can help so that you change position with a new idea or with a new visual support. Try to make all of your body language work with the movement. So, for example, if you want to walk to give the impression of thinking of a new idea, then set your hand up to your face to indicate thoughtfulness, and speak slowly or stop speaking altogether.

Facial expression, too, must be in harmony with your message, or it will work against it, just as your body language does.

Everything – body language, image and message must work together to create the impact you have chosen.

…………………………………………….

© Bronwyn Ritchie … If you want to include this article in your publication, please do, but please include the following information with it:
Bronwyn Ritchie helps speakers to be confident and effective. In just 6 months time, you could be well on the way to being admired, rehired as a speaker, confident and sucessful, with the 30 speaking tips. Click here for 30 speaking tips for FREE. Join now or go to http://www.30speakingtips.com

Public Speaking tip – Your image

Everything the audience sees of you as a speaker needs to reinforce the image you have decided to present in your speech – clothes, facial expression, stance and gesture.

At its most basic this means projecting confidence and sincerity. Unless you decide otherwise, the audience needs to know that you are comfortable with your message and believe in it.
 
If you are also using this presentation to present yourself as the face of your business, or as a candidate for a position, then take that into account as well. You need to be seen as trustworthy, competent, at ease with your material.